Saint Joseph adores the newborn Jesus

In the foreground there is a painting of the Holy Family surrounded by angels. There is a wonderful light emanating from the Child Jesus. He is looking at the gathered people with understanding because He is God. St Joseph is accompanied by two animals, which also appear in the following frescos. They are an ox and a donkey, and the painter was inspired by a passage from the book of the Prophet Isaiah: The ox recognizes its master and the donkey its owner’s manger (Is 1:3). These animals appear consistently next to St Joseph, symbolising the new nation which recognises its master – Christians.

In the background, sleeping shepherds by the fire are visible. One, keeping guard, has his back turned, illuminated by the moonlight. The shepherd was also King David, from whose lineage the Saviour was to come. The shepherds–representatives of a profession regarded by the Jews as unclean–are the first to receive the message of the coming of the long-awaited Messiah.



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